Avoiding Hello

everybody walks
with eyes dipped low,
chins to their chests
to avoid hello.
so eloquent their evasion
of any welcome greeting,
so to avoid human contact
or risking casual meeting.
wear a mask of apathy,
of somber draped demeanor,
give the false pretense:
everyone else's grass is greener.
of this, i am guilty.
i, too, avoid hello.
often, though, i do not succeed.
friendships are planted, then they grow.
i expose my underside deliberately.
i undress from my thick skin
all you see outside of me,
identical from within.
i disrobe for you my feelings,
to think of them what you will.
as i stand before you naked,
so could you close in and kill.
this bravery goes unchanced
by many that i cross.
do they claim to gain from this?
or do they suffer loss?
they swiftly seem to benefit
from this tragic status quo.
nobody moves, nobody hurt,
everybody avoids hello.
through all of this i sadly find
though desperately i try,
i cannot seem to find a way
to successfully avoid goodbye.
A. Jacob Hassler
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